Bangladesh provides Myanmar with 50,000 names for repatriation

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rohingya refugees at a ceremony in August to commemorate the crackdowns that prompted a mass exodus from Myanmar. MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP

Bangladesh provided Myanmar with a list of 50,000 Rohingya refugees to expedite their repatriation to Rakhine state, Bangladeshi foreign minister Abdul Momen said on Wednesday.

The minister disclosed this when talking to a small group of reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier this year, Bangladesh handed over a list of 25,000 Rohingyas to Myanmar for verification before their repatriation to their place of origin in Rakhine State.

The country hosts over 1.1 million Rohingyas. Most of them have sought asylum in the country amid a military crackdown on them since August, 2017.

On January 16 last year, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland. The arrangement stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years of its signing.

Two attempts at Rohingya repatriation were unsuccessful as the Myanmar authorities “failed to build confidence” among Rohingyas, resulting in unwillingness to return due to lack of a safety in Rakhine.

On September 23 in New York, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar agreed to create a “tripartite joint working mechanism” to evaluate the situation on the ground for the repatriation of Rohingyas.

Momen had a joint meeting with his Chinese and Myanmar counterparts on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The first meeting of the tripartite working body is scheduled to be held this month.